Special Event
Martin Heierling
Martin Heierling

Martin Heierling
Bellagio | Las Vegas

Thursday, July 31, 7:00 p.m.
Members $90, guests $115

Back when Martin Heierling was working at Essence in New Zealand, food writer Geraldine Johns reported that he aspired to be famous. “That might sound arrogant, but that’s what I want,” he told her. “I want people to come to my restaurant for my food and have a good time.” He may not be on the cover of Gourmet (yet), but Heierling certainly has the other part—diners having a good time—well under control. How could they not? They’re in Vegas, baby, being wined and dined by Heierling, who was recently named executive chef for special events at the Bellagio, that crown jewel of the Las Vegas Strip. Heierling oversees all of the resort’s banquet and catering events, which generate more than $30 million in sales for the Bellagio each year. Everything from stunning buffets to gala parties, even off-site catering and special events fall under his domain, and he manages to pull it all off with aplomb. With that sort of exposure, he should be famous in no time.

A native of Heidelberg, Germany, Heierling worked at Schwarzer Adler, Franz Keller’s Michelin two-star restaurant. Following stints in Zurich at Hummer and Austerbar, Heierling served as a chef in the German Navy. In 1993, he tried on a new hemisphere for size as chef de partie at New Zealand’s five-star Sheraton Auckland, then returned to St. Moritz, Switzerland, to accept the post of first chef tournant at the venerable Badrutts Palace Hotel. In 1995, Heierling took a six-month contract as chief cook for the Saudi Royal family on the world’s largest private yacht. Auckland beckoned again, and Heierling became sous-chef at Partington’s, an upscale eatery in the Sheraton Hotel Towers. In 1997, Heierling decided to call New York home (for a while, at least), and joined the staff—first as junior sous-chef, then as rôtisseur—at Lespinasse under Gray Kunz. A year later, Heierling was back in Auckland to help open Restaurant Essence, where “the food,” according to Geraldine Johns, “is palate-shatteringly fantastic.”

Though Heierling has been on the move for years, we suspect the excitement of Las Vegas may make this an extended stop. He joined the Bellagio in 2000, as executive chef garde manger. In 2002, he was named executive banquet chef. Since then, he has returned to St. Moritz as the representative of the United States and Bellagio at the 2002 World Gourmet Festival, and appeared on the American version of Iron Chef. Heierling has won many culinary awards, including gold and silver medals at international culinary competitions.

Espresso-Cured Venison with Green Onion Relish and Pine Nut Biscotti

Green Asparagus with Vanilla-Tequila Salmon and Candied Orange Dip

Crisp, Farmed Egg Hash Browns with Golden Osetra Caviar and Clotted Cream

    Paul Goerg Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

Crusted Crustacean Consommé with Toasted Cornbread and Cilantro Relish

    Baileyanna Sauvignon Blanc 2000

Chicken Fried Foie Gras with Huckleberries and Texan Onion Gravy

    Paul Goerg Blanc de Noirs NV

Columbia River Rainbow Trout with Braised Oxtail and Concord Grapes

    Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir 1999

Organic Suckling Piglet with Smoked Bacon, Bean Cassolette, and Heirloom Tomato Fondue

    Craiglee Shiraz 1999

Caramelized O’Henry Peach with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Cream of Wheat

    Joseph Phelps Eisrebe 2002


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